Sunday, September 4th, 2016
We’ve all been on some sort of marathon, while having a party at the same time. Krishna devotees have come to partake in an extension of the “Joy of Devotion” retreat. Held on the premises of ISKCON Montreal, you meet people from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec of course, and even the Big Apple, New York.
The retreat is about hearing and chanting and special guests—Gurudas, Malati, Suresvar and Srutirupa–—all telling their personal memories of our guru, Srila Prabhupada. Gordon is one newcomer to bhakti-yoga and his marathon is the pots. It’s a lot of cleaning, and he appears to be thoroughly enjoying himself.
So starting from 4:30 am, for chanting, until 8:30 pm, many people have been going strong with only minor breaks in between. It goes without saying that a big veggie prasadam feast marks the festive day’s end.
As most readers of this blog know, I’m habituated to a genuine wind-down at the end of the day. With a small contingent, we walked and chanted, soaked our feet in a municipal fountain, and secured a final refreshment, an aloe vera drink, before retiring for the night.
Upon reflection on these festive hours, what personally struck us as prominent, were the explosive kirtans of the early evening, and a slide presentation, by Malati, to do with the involvement of our guru’s female students in his service to Krishna. He was definitely inclusive when it came to their participation, sharing in all the activities of their spiritual brothers, including sitting and teaching from the Vedic texts. It is important that we see beyond gender and recognize qualification.
May the Source be with you!